26 September 2023

Library’s photo show shows a changing nation

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The National Library of Australia is set to celebrate Australian documentary photography in a new exhibition opening tomorrow (16 September).

Director-General of the National Library, Marie Louise Ayres said the Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now exhibition took a unique look at the journey of Australian documentary photography, from black and white images to the vibrant high-definition images of today.

“The 125 images in this exhibition reveal a changing Australia,” Dr Ayres said.

“The lives of migrants, shearers, dancers, miners, gardeners, surfers and knitters are all uniquely captured by celebrated documentary photographers,” she said.

“The exhibition also includes winged angels at Mardi Gras, significant moments in the journey towards reconciliation and COVID protests.”

Dr Ayres said the exhibition captured significant moments of individuals and groups, but also revealed the huge amount of change that Australia’s society had undergone in the past 50 years.

“The National Library collects today what will be important tomorrow and this exhibition is a brilliant way for us to showcase the changing lives of all Australians,” she said.

Exhibition Curator at the Library, Matthew Jones said he looked at tens of thousands of images in the National Library’s collection when preparing the exhibition and accompanying book.

“There are many everyday moments that can be captured with a camera but may not be significant enough to be accessioned into the collections of other libraries or galleries,” Mr Jones said.

“The beauty of the Library’s collections are that they are so wide-ranging, and I hope visitors enjoy viewing these more ephemeral moments,” he said.

Further information on the Viewfinder exhibition can be accessed at this PS News link.

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